Would you like to travel to Mars? Get in line. According to Stephen Hawking, humans need to leave planet Earth within 100 years or perish due to overpopulation, climate change, disease and artificial intelligence.
In the past, Hawking claimed that humans had about 1,000 years left on the planet. In BBC’s Expedition New Earth documentary, however, he states that humans must colonize Mars within the next century if they have any hope of survival. Throughout the program, Hawking reveals the technological and scientific advances that will enable life to exist on other planets.
According to BBC, the documentary will show “Hawking’s ambition isn’t as fantastical as it sounds—that science fact is closer to science fiction than we ever thought.”
The goal to transport billions of people to colonies on Mars may not be as outlandish as it seems. After all, Elon Musk of SpaceX is already planning to send humans (on a one-way trip) to Mars within the next decade, reports The Telegraph.
Some, such as columnist Eric Mack, are shaking their heads at the notion, however. In an article published on Forbes, Mack expressed that a reality check is needed for anyone who believes Mars, the moon, or other nearby planets are more hospital than Earth after countless disasters.
“Just cleaning up our own mess and starting over by rising from the rubble seems more practical” and more affordable than learning new methods of growing food or surviving radiation poisoning on Mars, he wrote. The columnist also added that “somehow, the grass is always greener for some people, even when it’s on a dead Red Planet.”